Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Here's a sight you don't see very often....


If you happen to be travelling out of Durham along the dual carriageway towards Darlington, pull into the lay-by and take a look at the fields on your left as you travel down from what used to be called the Cock 'o the North towards Croxdale. You still sometimes see arable fields with fine displays of poppies when their seeds are brought to the surface by the plough, but it's rare to see displays like this.

 
This land was formerly sown with cereals and oilseed rape but was bought by the Woodland Trust a few years ago. Eventually it will all be replanted as public-access woodland, to join up with the fragments of ancient woodland you can see in the distance in these photographs.
  

In the meantime some of it it has been sown with the kinds of arable field wild flowers that were a common sight before the days of intensive farming - corn poppy, corn chamomile, corncockle, cornflower.


It's a wonderful sight - well worth stopping to have a wander through if you happen to be passing - there's a gate in the fence near the lay-by. I've uploaded these photographs larger than usual - so it you double-click on the images you'll get a better impression of the spectacle.



20 comments:

  1. Thank you............I know where it is. I'll be there. A grand sight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. PS........can see your help being required with IDs.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful :) Saw a poppy field as we were driving down A1 on Saturday, but unable to stop. Grrr. A rare sight these days indeed. Do you mind if I use one of your shots as a screensaver?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stunning - it's like a living Monet ....

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Adrian, it hasn't reached its peak yet - it's such an attention grabbber that it could cause an accident....

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Mel, I'd be delighted if you did......

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Skev (Mark?), there's a strong temptation just to stand and stare - hard to know how to photograph something like that...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Stevie, I'm planning to go back with a proper camera - only had my little pocket camera with me.....

    ReplyDelete
  9. A stunning sight indeed Phil. So beneficial to wildlife too.

    Our local council do something similar; smaller scale though, with a few roundabouts and roadside verges.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a glorious sight! I grew up with wild-flower meadows and it is so good to see them again. Some years ago I saw a whole field of Flax in bloom, that was amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I saw millions of poppies in Norfolk last week and lots of daises in Derbyshire this week ... but to see both of them together with other wild flowers is really good.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi toffeeapple, flax is a lovely crop isn't it? They occasionally plant it around here...

    ReplyDelete
  13. It think it lifts the spirits just to stand in a field of flowers like this, don't you Emma!?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi rmt365, we grow a strip of cornfield annuals in our botanic garden at Durham University every year that delights visitors, but never anything on this scale.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi lotusleaf, I think the spectacle will improve from a week or two yaer... and then all those seeds will attract flocks of finches..

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Keith, I've seen white clover deliberately planted like this too - it absolutely hums with bees...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Visited the site today: wow!

    ReplyDelete